Early this morning, I received word from two separate sources that Marshall was on his way to the Jets and they would receive a late-round pick for compensation. The Bears will save roughly $4 million in cap space but why cut a top receiver in the league and create another large hole on the roster, all for a fifth-round pick?
A source informed me last Tuesday that the team had informed Marshall’s agent they were going to shop him on the trade market but they were not confident they could receive a 2015 draft pick. Rest assured, general manager Ryan Pace got the best value he could for the 31-year-old wide receiver, as there were at least four other teams with reported interest.
Over the course of this past year, Marshall’s act wore thin on not only the coaching staff and other players but he also had the disapproval of the front office, including Georg McCaskey. I was told it started with his appearances on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” and began to spiral out of control after the 40-minute press conference Marshall held against the wishes of the organization.
There were also multiple reports of a “falling out” between quarterback Jay Cutler and Marshall. From the hire of offensive coordinator Adam Gase to now, Marshall was reported as rubbing the new regime the wrong way.
There were questions of where his priorities really were with weekly trips to New York each Tuesday during the season, down to his reported selfishness in the locker room.
This move was not made due to a dip in production or questions of diminishing skills. This was simply a leadership move and from what I’m told, the Bears may not be done. Cutler and running back Matt Forte are not safe and could provide large salary-cap relief through trades.
Aaron Leming has years of salary cap knowledge and has written for Rant Sports, Bears Draft On Tap, and Cover 32. He is a regular contributor to Bear Report and Bear Report Magazine.